Don’t forget to check our interview with the 18 Horses from the beginning of the year, in case you want to know more about them.
When one thinks of Swedish music, it’s usually the Pop giants and historically successful acts such ABBA, Roxette etc that come to mind. Sweden as a region has been one of the dark horses – a more befitting description of the “underdog status” in this context – when it comes to Hip Hop. Despite the fact that there is an active Hip Hop scene, the Swedish market offers a relatively low amount of exposure to Hip Hop acts such as our interview subjects, 18 Horses.
Hailing from a town called Norrkoping, which is also home to the football side IFK Norrkoping, 18 Horses have been doing their thing and embarked on the long journey to make it in the Hip Hop game. Horses are often associated with traction and mobility measured in units of power, considering that Sweden also manufactures the luxury automobile line called Volvo. With all this considered, we spoke to the lead vocalist of the 18 Horses band, Sebastian Lennskog; as a jockey of this horse, he rides on the backs of another singer and a producer to complete the 18 Horses trio.
Sebastian shared with us how the 18 Horses stable (pun intended) came about and touched on their music – in light of their recent EP releases Kapitel 1 – Samhallet and Kapitel 2 – Relationer. We also discussed a number of things and got the low down straight out of the (18) horse’s mouth ;)!
One would never think that the predominantly black urban movement that is Hip Hop, would entrench its influence in a place like Scandinavia. This is not meant in any condescending way, but Scandinavia isn’t quite known to have a huge black population. Well, thanks to the MTV revolution, because of its expansion throughout the Hip Hop culture was able to spread to the most unlikely parts of the world – Whether or not that MTV’s success was on the back end of Hip Hop’s momentum or vice versa, is another debate altogether.
To zone in more closely into that part of the world, Sweden is home to mega pop acts like ABBA and Roxette. This is also where Martin Funkhouser hails from and he bears evidence that Hip Hop is in a healthy state of existence out there. The SpotRunnaz were once a prominent fixture in his part of the world, they embodied that boom bap style and the “catch me if you can” tag team style of rapping. Another Hip Hop crew called Looptroop Rockers are also highly lauded lyricists in many Hip Hop circles, whereas they had a more alternative style of music. The Looptroop Rockers also happen to be from the very same town as Martin Funkhouser of Vasteras.
Martin Funkhouser is a Hip Hop producer, with more of the old school style influenced by the golden ages of Hip Hop and Boom-Bap. He just recently released his EP called the Martin Funkhouser EP. We spoke to him about his origins and formative years, his debut EP and his overall perspective of the music game. Martin gave his thoughts on a number of things.